The sun is shining, the weather is warm; Christmas is probably the last thing on your mind right now. Despite this, it really pays to prepare for Christmas well in advance. After all, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year; however, it requires some preparation to make it so. Let’s be honest, in the absence of preparation, Christmas can be a very stressful occasion. Therefore, early preparations mean that the day can be as stress-free as possible. It’s all about steering away from debt, stress, and chaos! So, how exactly can this be achieved?
Establish a Budget
First and foremost, you need to have a budget in mind. Without this budget, you’ll essentially be going in blind. With a budget, though, you’ll be able to prepare wisely and involve everything that’s needed. Remember to include any Christmas cards, postage stamps, outings, presents, decorations, food, and even tacky jumpers. Once you collect all this information, you can then note it all down and use this to work out what needs to be spent and where. This will help you avoid any unnecessary splurges, making for more managed money over the whole holiday.
Start Present Shopping
Presents are set to take up a big chunk of the Christmas budget, so it’s wise to get shopping early. This way, you can spread the cost over the year, and your present shopping is one of the few things that can be completed way before Christmas begins. From Jellycat Christmas teddies to practical stocking fillers, you can have your Christmas shopping done in the middle of summer if you please. Just make sure you remember where you’ve stored them, or you might end up having to buy a whole new lot of presents, which kind of defeats the purpose.
Decide Who’s Hosting
If you tend to have a big family Christmas, you should decide quite early on who’s hosting. In fact, you might even decide this as one Christmas closes. This is because if hosting falls on your shoulders, you’re going to need to start your preparations even sooner. This way, you’ll be able to get the house ready in chunks throughout the year rather than frantically scrambling in December to get everything guest ready. You’ll also need to make sure you’ve got all the guests down so that you can go about buying gifts, catering to dietary requirements, and all the other aspects that come alongside hosting.
Decide Who’s Invited
Once it has been established who’s hosting Christmas, you can then decide who will actually be invited to Christmas Day. If you have an idea of how many people will be attending, you can then start to prepare more effectively. For instance, if your guests are from out of town, you may need to provide them with a place to stay over. This might mean you need to get some spare bedding, extra toilet roll, or anything else that’s sure to be used by guests.
Start Filling Out the Calendar
Lastly, you’ll need to start filling out the calendar as soon as possible. Let’s be honest; December, in the build-up to Christmas, can be manic. There seems to be something on every weekend, and it’s easy to lose track of everything and double-book yourself. This is especially true if you have kids at school, as you’ll need to know when their Christmas break is, as well as any other school-based events. You might even note down when you’re going to go Christmas food shopping. It’s all about finding a set date for anything and everything.